Hunter S. Thompson

The idea that politicians were real heroes

This is the problem with this rich and anguished generation. Somewhere a long time ago they fell in love with the idea that politicians—even the slickest and brightest presidential candidates—were real heroes and truly exciting people.

That is wrong on its face. They are mainly dull people with corrupt instincts and criminal children.

The Law of the Sea

It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.

—Hunter S. Thompson. "The Gonzo Salvage Co." San Francisco Examiner. 3 March 1986. (Collected in Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's)

When the going gets weird

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

—Hunter S. Thompson. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Fiction is a bridge to the truth

Fiction is a bridge to the truth that journalism can't reach. Facts are lies when they're added up, and the only kind of journalism I can pay much attention to is something like Down and Out in Paris and London.

—Hunter S. Thompson. "Letter to Angus Cameron, 28 June 1965." The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967.

Sins

It is an unsalaried job; I am also young, inexperienced and moderately paid--and if those are sins, then hell must be full of good correspondents.

—Hunter S. Thompson. "Letter to Philip L. Graham, 8 February 1963." The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967.

I'm too greedy to wish you much luck

I'm too greedy to wish you much luck, but if you can break through without stepping on my head, I hope you make it.

—Hunter S. Thompson. "Letter to William J. Kennedy, 10 August 1960." The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967.

The Edge

The Edge . . . There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others--the living--are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later.

—Hunter S. Thompson. Hell's Angels.

Whip on each other with big sticks

The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand. It's come to the point where you almost can't run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks. You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics.

—Hunter S. Thompson. "December." Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72.

So much for Objective Journalism

So much for Objective Journalism. Don't bother to look for it here--not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

—Hunter S. Thompson. "December." Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72.

Give anything weird a wide berth

Live steady. Don't fuck around. Give anything weird a wide berth--including people. It's not worth it. I learned this the hard way, through brutal overindulgence.

—Hunter S. Thompson. "December." Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72.

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